Month: March 2020

Motorola DP4000 & XPR7000 Series Carrying Solutions – Carry Cases, Waistcoats & Belt Clips

This page is designed to be a reference guide to carrying solutions for Motorola DP4000 & Motorola XPR7000 series two-way radios.

Note: We have a separate guide for DP2000 / XPR3000 radios here.

Here’s a handy matrix table to help you find the correct carry case for the Motorola DP4000 series.

Radio Model Carry Case Material Belt Clip/Loop Size Belt Clip/Loop Type
No Display & No Keypad Carry Cases
DP4400
DP4400e
PP4401
DP4401e
XPR7350
XPR7350e
XPR7580
XPR7380e
PMLN5845A Nylon 3″ (7.62cm) Fixed
PMLN5839A Hard Leather
PMLN5846A Swivel
PMLN5843A 2.5″ (6.35cm)
Display & Keypad Carry Cases
DP4600
DP4601
DP4600e
DP4601e
or
DP4800
DP4801
DP4800e
DP4801e
XPR7550
XPR7550e
XPR7580
XPR7580e
PMLN5844A Nylon 3″ (7.62cm) Fixed
PMLN5838A Hard Leather
PMLN5840A Swivel
PMLN5842A 2.5″ (6.35cm)
Replacement Carry Case Belt Loops
All Models PMLN5610 Hard Leather 2.5″ (6.35cm) Swivel Belt Loop
PMLN5611 3″ (7.62cm)
Other Carrying Accessories
All Models HLN9985B Plastic Waterproof Bag
4200865599 Leather Tool / Radio Belt Only
NTN5243A Carry Case Strap
HLN6602A Nylon Universal Nylon Chest Pack
RLN4570A Break-A-Way Chest Pack
RLN4815A Universal Radio-Pack & Utility Belt
Spring Belt Clips
All Models PMLN4651A Plastic / ABS 2″ (5cm) Spring Clip
PMLN7008A 2.5″ (6.35cm)
PMLN7296A 2.5″ (6.35cm) Vibrating Spring Clip

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Top 10 Compact Two-Way Radios

A compact radio can be useful for a variety of different working environments. You may be in need of a two-way radio that is small and easily concealed, or even one that isn’t overly complex and easy to use for your operators. Radiotronics has a variety of these types of radios on our website, but if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for they may be hard to find. This is why we have put together this blog post counting down what we believe to be the ten best compact radios currently on the market.

There will be multiple different factors that we will take into consideration when ranking these radios including the cost, the amount of advanced features it has and the overall quality of the radio.

10. Kenwood PKT-23

Kenwood’s PKT-23 is one of the Japanese companies leading options should you be looking to purchase a compact radio. Simple to use, the PKT-23 is an ideal solution should you be looking for a two-way radio that requires little to no training. With all of its function buttons being located on the face plate of the PKT-23, this ensures that the radio is extremely simple to use.

There is one main reason this radio is so low down on this list and is both why we love and loathe this radio, and that is how basic it is. On the one hand the PKT-23’s simplicity is a blessing as it makes it the ideal solution for workplaces that only require a simple communications system, allowing for quick communications across short distances and with the PKT-23 that is exactly what you get. On the flip side due to the basic nature of the radio, this means that it is lacking many safety features that other radios on this list have, along with only having a channel capacity of 8 which limits communications.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely Compact                                                 • Reduced Range
• Simple To Use                                                           • Extremely Basic
• Little To No Training Required                             • For Smaller Work Forces
• 8 Channel Capacity

Price Ex. VAT £91.66
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band PMR446
Analogue or Digital? Analogue
Channels 8
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 85 x 46 x 21
Weight in Grams 110

9. Hytera BD305LF

Our number nine is the BD305LF from Hytera. A license free radio the BD305LF is a radio that can be a fit for many different working environments. If it wasn’t for the fact that other radios in this list have access to more features and/or are licensed radios the BD305LF would be much higher up the list.

An extremely lightweight radio, the BD305LF is the true definition of a compact radio. The BD305LF is capable of operating as both an analogue and digital radio, meaning that you are able to talk with older analogue license free radios and new digital ones such as the BD305LF using separate channels. A major advantage to using these radios is the way it’s charged, the BD305LF can simply be plugged into a wall via the use of a Micro-USB just like you would with a smart phone.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• USB Charging                                                            • Reduced Range
• Dual Mode Capable                                                  • Minimal Features
• Modern Design
• VOX Voice Activation

Price Ex. VAT £75
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band DMR446
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 16
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 101 x 49 x 26
Weight in Grams 140

8. Motorola SL1600/SL2600

The SL1600 and SL2600 from Motorola come in at 8th place on our top 10 list for compact radios. With only slight differences between the two, the SL2600 is the slightly upgraded version of the two with a full display and 256 channels in comparison to the SL1600’s LED light display and 99 channels.

Motorola released these radios with the hospitality working environment in mind, their sleek design ensures that they wouldn’t look out of place even in the high end restaurants and hotels. With these radios being licensed this means that your potential range will be much better than other members of this list, available for purchase with both UHF and VHF frequencies, the SL1600 and SL2600 can be used in highly built up areas or in wide open spaces. One feature that both of these radios both have is the Lone Worker, although this isn’t necessarily something that would be required in hospitality environments it is a good feature to have should it ever be required.

The radio featured in the image is the SL2600 model.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Crystal Clear Audio                                                • Higher Price
• Licensed Radio
• Dual Mode Operation                                             
• VOX Voice Activation
• Sleek Design

Price Ex. VAT £181.51 (SL1600) £199 (SL2600)
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 99 (SL1600) 256 (SL2600)
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 126 x 55 x 22
Weight in Grams 169

7. Hytera BD505/BD555

Although the BD505 and BD555 are both feature rich radios, the reason that they place so low down on our top ten is due to the fact that they’re relatively new and are a similar price point to the hugely popular Motorola DP1400 and Hytera PD705LT.

As mentioned both the BD505 and BD555 are some of the newest radios from Hytera having been released in 2018. With a modern look, this doesn’t detract from these radios being fit for purpose in even some of the harshest of environmental conditions. There are numerous differentiating factors between the two radios with the BD505 being a 40 channel non-display model and the BD555 a 256 channel device with a single display, on the BD555 the display is located at the top of the face plate and shows the current channel and battery life remaining.

The radio featured in the image is the BD555 model.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Licensed Radio                                                          • Lacks In Safety Features
• Modern Design
• Dual Mode Capable
• Display & Non Display Available
• User Friendly

Price Ex. VAT £124.99 (BD505) £149.99 (BD555)
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 40 (BD505) 256 (BD555)
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 108 x 54 x 29
Weight in Grams 220

6. Motorola XT420/XT460

Our number six isn’t actually a single radio, it is the XT400 models from Motorola. The XT420 and XT460 are some of Motorola’s leading license free radios, and because of this are trusted in a variety of industries as a go to radio. The slight difference between these two radios are that the XT420 is a standard black box styled radio, where the XT460 has both an 8 character display with 3 action buttons below.

These radios are the best of both worlds offering outstanding professional grade quality at an affordable price, and although the Motorola stalwarts are license free this doesn’t hold them back when it comes to features. Both the XT420 and XT460 have a total of 16 channels programmed to PMR446 analogue frequencies, these channels are capable of being cycled through via the use of a channel scanning feature meaning that a transmission will never be missed. These radios are also compatible with the previous Motorola XTNi radio.

The radio featured in the image is the XT460 model.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Low Price                                                                   • Analogue Only
• User Friendly Design                                               • Reduced Range
• VOX Voice Activation
• With and Without Display
• Backwards Compatible

Price Ex. VAT £75 (XT420) £99.99* (XT460)
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band PMR446
Analogue or Digital? Analogue
Channels 16
Ingres Protection Rating IP55
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 105 x 55 x 35
Weight in Grams 180

*Radiotronics Sale Price

5. Kenwood TK-3601D

The next radio in our top 10 is the TK-3601D from Kenwood. Although this is license free, it stands apart from other radios alike due to a number of factors. The TK-3601D has 32 channels programmed to DMR446 frequencies, this meaning that not only is there more channels to transmit on, but due to being a digital radio this means that the transmissions both sent and received will be crystal clear.

As all radios in this list the TK-3601D is a compact device but there is something special about the design of the TK-3601D. Simple to use with minimal buttons and a small display showing the user their current channel and remaining battery life, the TK-3701D would be ideal for use in a variety of smaller working environments whether they be customer facing or not. Due to the radios size and the accessories that are available, the TK-3701D can be easily concealed allowing for a smart appearance from your staff.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely User Friendly                                         • Reduced Range
• Easily Concealed
• Dual Mode Capable
• IP67 Ingres Protection

Price Ex. VAT £205
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band DMR446
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 32
Ingres Protection Rating IP67
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 97 x 54 x 27
Weight in Grams 160

4. Icom IC-F52D/IC-F62D

In fourth place we have a pair of two-way radios, although this sounds amiss, the IC-F52D and IC-F62D are the same radio but at the same time they’re not. Icom, the producer of these radios, tend to keep each frequency band to a specific product name. In this case the the IC-F52D is a VHF radio and the IC-F62D is UHF.

Although the Icom radio is small in size, its IP67 Ingres protection rating ensures that it will continue to operate even after being submersed in water whilst also being safe from dust intrusion. The IC-F52D/62D are capable of performing mixed mode operation meaning that should you have existing analogue radios they can still be used alongside your newer models. The 512 possible channels means that these radios are an ideal solution should you have a larger workforce, these channels can be split across groups meaning that individual areas of your business can have their own private channels.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Feature Rich                                                              • Expensive in Comparison
• IP67 Ingres Protection
• Extremely Compact
• Dual Mode Capable
• Crystal Clear Audio

Price Ex. VAT £399
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 512
Ingres Protection Rating IP67
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 92 x 56 x 29
Weight in Grams 215

3. Hytera PD365/PD365LF

The PD365 from Hytera is one of the most feature rich compact radios available to purchase. It’s sleek design means that it stands apart from the crowd in a market that is fiercely competitive. Available as both a licensed and license free model, having the choice between the two means that both short and long range communications can be achieved. Ideal for use in environments where appearance is key, the PD365 wouldn’t look out of place in high end establishments such as hotels and restaurants.

Something that makes both the PD365 and PD365LF an exceptional product is it’s ability to wireless charge. When purchased with a compatible battery and charger, simply place your radio into the holder and your radio will charge allowing for easy access from the unit should the radio be needed quickly.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Available As Both Licensed and License Free    • Lacks In Safety Features
• User Friendly Interface
• Wireless Charging
• 3-Line Monochrome Display
• VOX Voice Activation

Price Ex. VAT £137.5 (L) £122.15 (LF)
License or LF? Licensed & License Free
Frequency Band UHF/VHF & DMR446
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 256 (L) & 16 (LF)
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 106 x 54 x 23
Weight in Grams 180

2. Motorola CLP446

The radio that we have chosen as our number two is the CLP446 from Motorola. Although the radio has been available to purchase in the UK for many years, it’s popularity hasn’t ever reached the heights that it has on the opposite side of the Atlantic. A huge success in America, the CLP446 is a license free, compact two-way radio that is easily one of the smallest available on the market from a major manufacturer. Ideal for use in a variety of working environments, due to its small stature the CLP446 is easily concealed making it an ideal solution for customer facing positions where appearance is everything.

The CLP446 is available as both a standard wired version and a Bluetooth capable model, when purchasing the Bluetooth CLP446 this will allow for the use of wireless accessories such as microphones and earpieces.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely Compact                                                  • Reduced Range
• Ideal Beginner Radio                                               • Small Number Of Channels
• Extremely Easy Use                                                 • Reduced Functions
• Wired or Bluetooth Versions Available
• Voice Assisted Operation

Price Ex. VAT £149.99
License or LF? License Free
Frequency Band PMR446
Analogue or Digital? Analog
Channels 8
Ingres Protection Rating IP54
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 88 x 50 x 19
Weight in Grams 68

 

1. Motorola EVX-S24

The EVX-S24 from Motorola is a product name that you may have heard before in association with the brand Vertex Standard. In 2019 Motorola absorbed the company into their own, transferring across some of the companies most popular radios such as the EVX-S24 and branding them Motorola.

One of the smallest radios within this top 10, the EVX-S24 is the true definition of compact. Although it is small in stature, what the EVX-S24 has as features more than makes up for what it lacks in size. VOX Voice Activation can be used with compatible accessories, this allowing for the hands free use of the radio within the workplace should it be needed. Safety features such as Lone Worker and an emergency button ensure that the users of the EVX-S24 can send out a quick alarm should they find themselves in danger.

Pros                                                                           Cons
• Extremely Compact
• User Friendly
• Crystal Clear Audio
• Lone Worker Capable
• IP67 Waterproof

Price Ex. VAT £165
License or LF? Licensed
Frequency Band UHF/VHF
Analogue or Digital? Digital
Channels 128
Ingres Protection Rating IP67
Dimensions in Millimeters (H x W x D) 91 x 55 x 31
Weight in Grams 215

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Figuring Out What Two-Way Radio You Need

When working no matter the environment the first concern for an employee and employer will be the safety of not only themselves but also other members of staff. There are many standard safety procedures and regulations that help to keep you safe such as safe passageways, adequate lighting, ventilation and easy access to fire escapes, but something that isn’t required by law such as two-way radios can be almost a necessity in cases of emergency.

No matter the size of the workplace you are operating in should a safety issue arise, contacting other people within the building to let them know of an ongoing situation is the first port of call. A technology that has rapidly grown over the past couple of decades is mobile telephones, although a great device for making contact with friends, in emergency situations wouldn’t be so ideal. When making a call from mobile to mobile the message being delivered depends entirely on the person at the other end of the line answering their device, and even when they answer their phone there is still the possibility of call latency of up to 1 second, which although doesn’t sound like much, could be massive in emergency situations.

As mentioned mobile phones may seem that they are capable of providing instantaneous communications, but it is almost certain that they can’t due to the previously mentioned factors. This is where two-way radios come in to play. A simple explanation would be that when pressed, the PTT (Push to Talk) button on the side of your two-way radio will allow you to talk to other radios within a tenth of a second, meaning that a radio is ten times quicker than a mobile without taking into account the time taken to call the contact in the first place.

The previous paragraph features a basic explanation, but this can be expanded on ten-fold. Each radio can be programmed to have multiple channels; these can be designated to different areas of your business to ensure that the office based team aren’t crossing communications with the warehouse staff for example. The ability to divide your departments to their own zones or channels means that should a specific area of your business have an issue, then they aren’t having to fight with other people in order to send their transmission due to the channel being locked.

Site wide channels can be added for less urgent communications, but a listen only channel can be programmed to ensure that should a situation of high risk or priority arise then everyone within the work environment can be notified instantly. Similarly, a feature that almost all two-way radios have is the option to add an emergency button. When activated an alert will be sent to all radios within your network, this notifying them that a member of staff may have a security or safety issue that needs to be resolved quickly.

Pricing

The price of a good communications system is nothing compared to the safety of staff, but if price is a sticking point then there are many different options available to help you get the most out of your system. This section of the blog post will separate different radios over 3 price points, ranging from an affordable entry level device all the way through to advanced GPS capable models.

For all price levels in this piece of the blog, the usual radios of choice are split between the three major brands; Motorola, Hytera and Kenwood.

£ – Entry Level

From Motorola there is the DP1400 which is a rugged, reliable and simple to use radio that can be found in a variety of working environments but most commonly is seen on construction sites or within warehouses. This device is the successor to the most popular two-way radio every produced, the Motorola GP340. The DP1400 has followed in the footsteps of its predecessor and taken up the mantle as the most frequently purchased Motorola radio. You would be forgiven for thinking that the DP1400 and the GP340 are in fact the same radio, but with the optional upgrade of digital signalling this allows for additional transmitting options such as individual, private and group calling.

The PD705LT is a sleek device available from Hytera, this radio is one of the Chinese manufacturers most popular products whilst also being the top selling radio by Radiotronics in 2019. Unlike the previously mentioned DP1400, the PD705LT comes with digital signalling as standard, this ensuring that crystal clear communications are a guarantee when using the Hytera radio. A major draw to the PD705LT is its Bluetooth capabilities. An external adapter accessory can be purchased to connect wireless accessories, this an ideal solution where your radio and an earpiece is needed to be used in a formal environment.

Finally, from Kenwood is the NX-1300, this is the UHF equivalent of the NX-1200 VHF radio. These two radios have only recently been released, put in to production in order to replace the soon to be discontinued TK-D340 and TK-D240. Both identical radios, the NX-1300/NX-1200 have a sleek design whilst being packed with features such as Lone Worker, Channel Scanning and an Emergency Call Function. These radio have an extremely modest price for the device that you are getting, making it ideal for companies with a lower budget.

££ – Middle Of The Road

Starting out with Motorola again for our middle of the road radios. The DP4400e is a tough, battle ready radio that can be used in even the harshest of environmental conditions. With an IP68 protection rating this means that the DP4400e can be fully submersed in water, ensuring that should it be dropped into a body of water or left out in the rain it will still be operational once it has been retrieved. Coming as standard with digital signalling, unlike the entry level DP1400, this ensures that communications are consistent whilst also crystal clear.

From Hytera the option that we would recommend if you’re looking at a middle ground two-way radio is the PD705. This is the bigger brother of the PD705LT, the more compact version of this radio. But you may be asking, what extra features do I receive if I choose this model over the LT? The PD705 has an IP67 protection rating meaning that similarly to the DP4400e it is fully submersible in water. Alongside this the normal 705 also has the option to add various license keys for things such as digital encryption and trunking for both MPT1327 and DMR Tier III whilst also being capable of Man Down functionality.

Our final middle range radio is the Kenwood NX3300E3, to keep things fair we’ve used the E3 model as this is a black box design, just like the DP4400e from Motorola and PD705 from Hytera. Yet another radio with an IP67 protection rating, the NX3300E3 also benefits from an amass of features that come both pre-programmed and additional extras. Bluetooth allows for wireless accessories to be used with this radio, whilst GPS capabilities mean that the NX3300E3 can be tracked to its exact location when used in collaboration with dispatch software. Lone Worker comes as standard with the radio monitoring the activity levels of the radio, where Man Down is an additional extra.

£££ – Top Of The Class

The final Motorola radio that I will be talking about is the Motorola DP4801e. This radio has every feature and additional extras that you could possibly need from a communications device, although this is reflected in the price. The first model on this list that has both a full keypad and display, the DP4801e is an ideal radio for managers who may need access to private calls with workers using the same or different radios. A high IP rating of IP68, Bluetooth, GPS, Voice Activation and many more additional features makes the DP4801e one of the most advanced models on the market.

The 1024 channel PD785 from Hytera is their entry into the top level of radios. With the optional paid upgrade to a GPS and Man Down version of the radio, the PD785 comes in at a similar price point to the DP4801e from Motorola. A device that wouldn’t look out of place even in customer facing workplaces, the PD785 also has a full key pad and full colour display making it easy to access menus and options, whilst also having the ability to send both pre-programmed and custom text messages to other radios. Although the radio looks sleek and stylish this doesn’t take away from its durability, with an IP68 protection rating and being built to military standards, this ensures its continuous operation in even the harshest of conditions.

In the middle class we mentioned Kenwoods NX3300E3, but one thing we didn’t say was the fact that there was two additional versions of the radio. The E2 features a partial keypad and full display, whilst the radio that we will be focusing on is the NX3300E that has a full keypad alongside a full display. The display on the NX3300E is an LCD in comparison to the full colour of the PD785, although this is the only part that really differs between the two radios. A more regimented black box styling, this radio not only looks tough but is built tough too with an IP67 Ingres Protection rating.

*Pricing levels accurate as of 31/01/2020

Although it might seem like the best option is always the most expensive due to the amount of features they have, the most important thing to ask yourself is… do I really need to that? A common conversation that the sales staff at Radiotronics have with customers is them requesting features fit for dangerous working environments, in environments that aren’t actually that dangerous.

As an example, more often than not a customer will inquire about having Man Down added to their radios. Man Down is a feature that monitors the orientation of the radio, should the radio in question be laid on its side for a pre-set period of time, 30 seconds let’s say, then an alert will sound on the radio. If this alert is not answered, then an alarm of highest priority will be sent to other radios in the network or a base station. If dispatch software is used within your system and your radios have GPS capabilities, the location of the downed man will be shown on the map allowing for fast response to the workers’ location.

Although this does seem like a handy thing to have programmed into your radio it is only a necessity where there is a risk of death in the workplace. So we would definitely recommend this feature for use on construction sites or power stations and such, but businesses located on small sites or within schools we would advise to save the additional money you would spend on this upgrade and put it to use elsewhere.

As previously mentioned Radiotronics would always recommend only buying what you definitely require for your environment. Should within your workplace you require GPS capable radios, it may not be necessary for everyone to have the fancy models with a screen and full keypad. The solution for this that Radiotronics have implemented many times involves radios that have been mentioned in both the “Middle of The Road” and “Top of The Class” sections of this blog.

The working environment that I will use as an example for this is a warehouse facility.

Within a warehouse there will be many different levels of staff, from floor workers to supervisors and office staff. A communications system for a large operation could consist of anywhere from 15 to 150 radios, and with the heavy machinery and high racking there is also the risk of injury or in severe cases death should something go wrong. Although a Motorola DP1400 for example would suffice in such an environment, we would always recommend radios that have GPS capabilities in a large building such as a warehouse.

For distribution of radios a member of floor staff wouldn’t necessarily require a radio that has the full screen and keypad, this because in general they will not be required to make individual calls or need to send text messages to other members of staff. The middle of the road radios allows for the user to receive crystal clear communications through standard channels whilst being rugged and reliable, ensuring that should they accidentally be dropped then little to no damage will be sustained. With the warehouse workers making up the majority of the staff, using these radios would help to keep costs down where they don’t necessarily need to be using the high end radios.

For members of staff who may need to relay new instructions or contact other members of staff directly it would be recommended that they use radios from our “Top of The Class” picks. With these radios only being given to a select few members of staff, this would help keep the costs lower on your system. A supervisor for example would be able to contact members of their team either as a group or as an individual. With the normal programmed channels being split into zones, these may be used by all members of floor staff rather than one specific team. With group calling this will allow for a supervisor or manager to navigate the menus of their radio to find the group with just their team members included, this meaning that instructions aren’t being listened in to by everyone and just the people that need to hear it. Similarly, individual calls can be made should you need to speak to someone privately without having to disturb other members of staff.

Within this blog I have spoken about a lot of different aspects that you need to take into account when purchasing two-way radios. Should you want to learn anything more about two-way radios before making a purchase Radiotronics have produced a large amount of literature whether it be here on our blog or on the informational pages of our website. If you think you’ve made a decision on a radio or would like some extra advice then you could always make a call to our sales team, our trained staff will be able to talk through with you what the best option for you would be on the number below.

01425 533 533

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